Ever since I first saw the stone "Castle" on the top of a hill in Groton MA I have wanted to film it. I finally got the chance a few days ago.
General William Bancroft, a Groton native who became head of the Boston Elevated Railroad and Mayor of Cambridge, began building a retirement home called Shawfield mont at the crest of Gibbet Hill. Beginning with a modest bungalow, he planned to add a castle-like mansion and a stable, but ran out of money before the project was complete.
Property is sold to Harold Ayres, a prominent physician who turned the bungalow into a private sanitarium, which accepted "all but insane or contagious" patients for $20 per week.
Groton Private Hospital houses tuberculosis sufferers on its long, open porches with views 30 miles to Mount Wachusett.
The Groton Hunt Club uses the bungalow for fox-hunting parties, dinners, dances and nature outings. In 1932 "careless fireworks" are blamed for a fire that destroyed most of the bungalow, leaving only the remains of a stone observation tower intact.
This land was almost turned into houses but it was purchased by a gentleman who preserved it. It truly is beautiful and I am so happy it was saved from development.
I used my Canon T2i to make this short film of the castle. I only own two lenses and both (50mm f1.8, Kit lens) were used. I used a Fader ND filter on the 50mm f1.8 and shot it wide open. The Fader ND filter creates a warmer look and It was hard to match the color in post (still learning).
I used an indislider mini for the slider shots.For $99.00 it is a good inexpensive slider but it does have some friction that rears its ugly head every once in a while.
I think this came out pretty good for someone still learning what works and what doesn't.
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